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Are Speed Cameras There To Improve Road Safety?

Over two million speeding tickets were issued in 2018, which saw a rise of over 40% compared to the number of tickets raised back in 2011. Every motorist knows how penalty points and speeding fines can increase the cost of a motor trade insurance policy.

speed camera scam

In most cases speed cameras are placed by road safety partnerships, but a recent report suggests the rise in the number of offences is due to the use and technology of speed cameras.

Controversially, the report also goes on to mention that several speed cameras have been located to raise funds rather than reduce the number of road traffic incidents.

The watchdog’s report quoted: “Apparent unwillingness to support education over enforcement had led to suspicion among officers, including some at chief officer level, that the focus of activity was intended to increase revenue for the safety partnership.”

It also reports that road safety partnerships and police forces do not receive any of the funds raised by the penalty fines, however, they can recover administration expenses for educational schemes like the speed awareness course.

More importantly, the report does go on to reinforce the reality that speed cameras play a very important role in reducing the number of collisions on our roads.

The independent organisation ‘Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS)’, has also called on police forces and their partners to make it clear why camera locations have been selected and to publish any revenues, along with details of how the budget was spent.

From the motor trade, Nicholas Lyes, head of roads policy at the RAC said, “Any suggestion that a decision to locate cameras in certain places is driven by raising revenue, rather than improving road safety, is unacceptable. Cameras have played a vital role in keeping our roads safe over the years, but the police must be able to show their deployment is about saving lives and nothing more. Ultimately though, the best way drivers can avoid picking up a speeding penalty is by not exceeding the speed limit.”

Between junctions 39 and 42 on the M1 motorway there was an average of 1.3 crashes per year, but this increased to 5 in a 12-month period after an upgrade to the smart motorway, which also use speed cameras to aid traffic flow.

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Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary said he was “greatly concerned” by the number of accidents on these roads.

All-lane running (ALR) smart motorways are created by removing the hard shoulder to increase lane capacity. Signs overhead provide information and speed restrictions due to accidents or incidents up ahead, emergency areas are available up to two and a half miles apart for vehicles to pull over safely if necessary.

A spokesperson for Highways England said: “While one accident is one too many on any motorway, the stocktake concluded that smart motorways in most ways are as safe as, or safer than, conventional motorways they replace. We are taking forward the measures set out in the stocktake and are determined to do all we can to make our roads as safe as possible.”